UCI-ADT 2020 UCI Raúl Alarcón García
March 8, 2021
On 8 March 2021 the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal decided to impose a fine and a 4 year period of ineligibility on the Spanish cyclist Raúl Alarcón García due to the abnormal values in his Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP).
In First Instance the Sole Arbitrator concluded that the Athlete failed to establish a departure from the ISL, the ISTI or any other applicable Rule. Furthermore there was no departure that could reasonably have caused the Adverse Analytical Finding, nor did the Athlete set forth any other potential legal basis on which his arguments may rely.
Hereafter in April 2021 the Athlete appealed the UCI-ADT Decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and requested the Panel to annul the Appealed Decision.
The Athlete denied the violation and raised a number of issues regarding:
- the lack of independence of the UCI-ADT;
- the burden en standards of proof;
- the refusal to translate the ABP documentation package;
- the departures of the ISL;
- the departures of the ISTI;
- the reliability of the ABP data.
The UCI contended that the Athlete's ABP profile displays clear abnormalities and that none of the Athlete's explanations or attempts to establish that there are no such abnormalities are convincing.
In this case the Panel considered all the facts, allegations, legal arguments and evidence submitted by the Parties:
- It first recalls the specific context and debates over the finding of an ADRV based on abnormalities identified in an ABP and the applicable burden of proof.
- It then sets out the burden and standard of proof applicable in determining whether departures from certain applicable standards in sample collection, preservation and analyses are performed.
- The Panel goes through said alleged departures to determine whether they have been characterized, and, if so, whether they had an impact over the finding of an ADRV;
- before determining the justifications of the abnormalities debated between the Parties; and
- determining the corresponding sanction.
The Panel concludes that the Athlete failed to provide credible explanations for the abnormalities in his ABP, but that such failure cannot automatically induce that an ADRV has been committed.
Ultimately the Panel is comfortably satisfied that the cause for the abnormalities is most certainly the use of a Prohibited Method, i.e. blood transfer. The Panel considers that the Athlete's profile shows a high possibility of blood manipulations. The timing of which reinforces this conclusion, as these abnormalities coincided with the Volta a Portugal 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 28 January 2022 that:
- The appeal filed by Mr. Raúl Alarcón García on 6 April 2021 against the decision rendered by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal dated 8 March 2021 is rejected.
- The decision rendered by the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal dated 8 March 2021 is confirmed.
- The award is pronounced without costs, except for the Court Office fee of CHF 1,000 (one thousand Swiss Francs) paid by Mr. Raúl Alarcón García, which is retained by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
- Mr. Raúl Alarcón García is ordered to pay CHF 2,500 (two thousand and five hundred Swiss Francs) as a contribution towards the legal fees and other expense incurred by the UCI in connection with this procedure.
- All other or further requests or motions for relief are dismissed.